Ghana would be showcasing an important aspect of its cultural values relating to the “Rites of Passage,” at the Pan-African Cultural Festival which scheduled for July 5 to 20 2009 in Algeria.
The “Rights of Passage” as the theme of the festival, is very significant to the African as their way of life involved with rituals for people to reconnect and commune with their ancestors.
The African view of life, revealed a journey with many passages and challenges along the way which starts from birth till death.
Ms Lillian Bruce-Lyle, Chief Director, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, at a press briefing on Friday, explained that a pre-exhibition that had been mounted at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, was to set the stage for what Ghana would be exhibiting at Algeria during the festival.
She said the purpose of the Pan-African Cultural Festival was to ensure that countries in Africa were bound together with culture and therefore all African countries were encouraged to participate, to ensure unity of the continent.
Ms Bruce-Lyle said the international festival would afford Ghana an opportunity to strengthen its cultural relations not only with Algeria, but also with other African countries and offer other Ghanaian participants the opportunities to interact and exchange ideas with their colleagues from other countries.
She said aside the official theme of the festival, other Ghanaian culture and cultural products would also be displayed.
Some of the items to be showcased included, special traditional mats made from the elephant grass that is used culturally as the bed of a baby from the day of birth till the seventh day after which it was believed that the baby had fully lost links with the spiritual world, shea butter, traditional sponge and beads.
There were other items and pictures depicting puberty rights, the traditional food “Oto,” (mashed yam with palm oil), as well as items for preparing the dead for burial.
Ms. Bruce-Lyle said the African also viewed life as a series of hills
that one had to climb to reach the top saying the passage was also viewed as
a covenant between an individual and the creator and a time for one to begin working towards developing harmony with one's inner self.
She urged Ghanaians to educate their children on the nation's rich cultural values to ensure their sustenance.